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Telegraph stamps of the World

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Up a level Not my site, but
a good reference:
Post Office Telegraphs Ceylon Telegraphs HongKong Telegraphs India Telegraphs Jamaica Telegraphs Orange Free State Telegraphs Orange Free State Telegraphs Australia
GB Ceylon Hong Kong India Jamaica Natal OFS Australia and states
Up a level by Dave Elsmore.
Matabeleland Telegraphs Sarawack Telegraphs Sudan Telegraphs Transvaal Telegraphs Uganda Railway NSW Telegraphs Western Australia Telegraphs Western Australia Telegraphs
Other Africa Sarawak Sudan Transvaal Uganda New South Wales Western Australia Other Australia


  I have revised Hiscocks' original listing, though leaving references to the original designations.  
I have brought the prices up to date and added currency selection.
The new designations have 'RH' numbers (Revised Hiscocks) to avoid confusion.
CheckList         Setup


Shortcuts to different sections
1869 series Postmarks 1881/2 Prov. 1882 series 1890 series 1899-1900 Prov. Angeli Head Perfins. 1904 issue 1904 Prov.

Shortcuts to different sections
Postal Service After Telegraph Stamps Used abroad Service Telegraphs Jammu & Kashmir J&K Officials Patiala Telephone stamps



Steve Hiscocks wrote:

The Indian Government Telegraph Department was established in 1851 and was originally completed independent of the Post Office. In the early 1850s telegrams were paid for in cash while from 1855 to 1859 stamped revenue papers are said to have been used as prepaid telegraph forms. The first adhesive stamps were ordered in 1856, received in Calcutta in June 1858, distributed in November 1859 and were apparently first put into use in early 1860. These first 'Electric Telegraph' stamps saw little use due to bad publicity, restrictions on use due to misunderstanding of the instructions, and the fact that they were only used where no Telegraph Office existed. Although the Electric Telegraph stamps were current for nine years the vast majority were eventually destroyed or overprinted for court fee use. In use they were not bisected, as were later issues, such that half remained in possession of the customer (although one or two are known to have been so used after 1869 when they were withdrawn but not demoniterised) — the entire stamp was retained on the message form, cancelled by multiple punching, and subsequently officially destroyed.

The first of the double head issues was received in Bombay in March 1867, distributed in June and August 1868 and officially entered service on 1 February 1869. Many, but not all, of the first printings were on paper of varying degrees of blueness. The use of bluish paper is not observed in printings after 1869 and is spasmodic before that so it cannot be regarded as a separate issue. The early papers seem to be slightly thinner.

Various die changes occurred early on and are noted below. In 1882 (probably February) new and different sized plates were adopted to reduce printing costs. A new size of paper was required and this had a slightly different watermark. Various values on the earlier watermarked paper ran out while these were awaited and provisionals were issued in 1881 to fill the gaps.

No die changes are normally recognised on second watermark paper but an exchange of correspondence between de la Rue and the India Stores Department in March and July 1886 suggests that the heads and backgrounds of the 2, 4 and 8 anna and the 1, 5 and 50 rupee dies were softened and recut "in the new and improved manner", and that the printings of these values in 1887 and thereafter would be from these new dies. Examination of specimens used before and well after 1887 has not so far shown any systematic differences but further work is required.

The discovery or fear that 'new' telegraph stamps could be constructed by the less scrupulous from pairs of used top halves let to the introduction of new single head designs in 1890 and the analogous King Edward VII stamps were issued belatedly in 1904. Shortages of specific values led to the issue of provisionals in 1889 and, while the King Edward stamps were awaited, in 1904.

Both ordinary postage stamps and those overprinted 'Postal Service' (a sort of 'tax due' stamp for incoming parcels) were used telegraphically at various times but were not differentiated for such use and are therefore not listed. Telegraph stamps were abolished on 1 April 1908 and postage stamps were used thereafter. The 10, 15 and 25 rupee postage stamps issued in 1909 were specifically intended to fill the gap left by the withdrawal of the high value telegraph stamps and most of the 15 and 25 rupee values were so used. They should perhaps be regarded as telegraph stamps.

My notes:
Does anyone know what the differences are?
I have some information below on the Postal Service. The same may apply to the normal postage stamps.
Hiscocks constrained his scope to include only purely telegraphic stamps. The economies of publishing a book
required constraints, including limitations on images. Thankfully with the modern internet I can afford to use
more and better images as well as explore more fully the topic of telegraphy.


1860 De La Rue on unwatermarked "enamelled" safety paper. Perf. 14

H1   courtesy of www.stampbay.com


RH # Hisc. Desc. Mint Used
RH1 H1 4A reddish purple (12,000) 1500.00 1000.00
RH2 H2 1R reddish purple (12,000) 3000.00 1500.00
RH2a H2a         handstamped "ON HMS ONLY"   - -
RH3 H3 4R reddish purple (500) 30000.00 5000.00

Hiscocks added the following 4 notes:

Note 1. No. 2(a) is thought to have been a local overprint rather than an official issue.
Note 2. Used stamps normally have a number of approximately 3mm holes punched in them.
                Three or four examples of left hand halves used after 1869 with those of the next issue are known.  
Note 3. The numbers in brackets are those printed minus those overprinted for Court Fee payment and those  
                destroyed assuming the same rates of usage in the Calcutta presidency, for which figures are
                not known, as in the Bombay and Madras presidencies where they are known.
Note 4. No. 2 in fact differs slightly from No. 1 in that it lacks the outer frame line round the design.


An example of the 4 anna used, courtesy of Andrew Higson. The date is presumably in error and should have been 1861.

India-H1 used

Remainders (the majority) of the 4a, 1r and 4r stamps were overprinted and used for Court Fees. Images courtesy of Andrew Higson.

Court Fee - 4a

Court Fee - 1r

Court Fee - 4r

The way of cancelling them was very varied.


1869 (1 February) De La Rue on white or bluish wove paper. Perf. 14
Various frames with two heads of Queen Victoria.

India-H4 India-H5 India-H6 India-H8 India-H12
1 Ans.   H4 2 Ans.   H5 4 Ans.   H6 1 R.   H8 5 R.   H12
H4 - One of mine. H6 and H12 images courtesy of ibredguy.co.uk Others from Wiki.


India - the rest
8 Ans.   H7 2R 8A.   H10 10 R.   H14 25 R.   H17 50 R.   H20
The rest of the set (reduced size), courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.


Watermarked Crown over "INDIA".


RH # Hisc. Desc. Mint Used
RH4 H4 1A yellow-green (1878) (190,000) 40.00 4.00
RH4a H4a         green (March/May 1880) 40.00 4.00
RH4b -         watermark inverted 90.00 -
RH5 H5 2A maroon (1869) (600,000) 24.00 1.50
RH5a H5a         deeper shade (1881) 40.00 2.00
RH6 H6 4A light blue (shades)(1.2.69) (1,500,000) 16.00 0.50
RH6a H6a         watermark inverted 100.00 8.00
RH6b H6b         on bluish to very blue paper 40.00 4.00
RH6c H6c         dull blue (1881) 32.00 1.00
RH7 H7 8A light brown (shades) (1.2.69) (5,400,000) 12.00 0.40
RH7a H7a         on bluish to very blue paper 40.00 4.00
RH7b H7b         watermark inverted - 8.00
RH7c H7c         imperf (Oct. 1878, Ceylon) - 150.00
RH7d H7d         reddish-brown 20.00 0.80
RH8 H8 1R grey (shades) Die I (1.2.69) (875,000) 200.00 4.00
RH8a H8a         on bluish paper 300.00 10.00
RH8b H8b         bluish grey 300.00 10.00
RH8c H8c         imperf (7.5.69, Bombay) - 150.00
RH9 H9 1R grey (shades) Die II (1869) (15,000,000) 20.00 0.50
RH9a H9a         blue-grey 12.00 0.50
RH9b H9b         double printing (March 1879) - -
RH10 H10 2R 8A orange-yellow (shades) Die I (1.2.69) (800,000)   32.00 0.60
RH10a H10a         on bluish paper 60.00 1.20
RH11 H11 2R 8A orange (shades) Die II (1878) (970,000) 40.00 1.00
RH11a H11a         watermark inverted - 10.00
RH12 H12 5R orange-brown (shades) (1.2.69) (875,000) 40.00 0.80
RH12a H12a         vertical perfs. misplaced 8mm to left (Karachi 1871)   - 40.00
RH12b -         watermark inverted - 75.00
RH13 H13 10R dull blue-green(shades) Die I (1.2.69) (475,000) 40.00 0.80
RH13a H13a         deep blue-green 60.00 1.00
RH13b H13b         imperf. - -
RH14 H14 10R dull blue-green(shades) Die II (1878) (570,000) 40.00 0.80
RH15 H15 14R 4A bright lilac (Jan. 1870) (67,920) 100.00 4.00
RH16 H16 25R reddish-lilac (shades) Die I (1.2.69) (150,000) 100.00 4.00
RH17 H17 25R reddish-lilac (shades) Die II (1878-9) (250,000) 80.00 1.50
RH18 H18 28R 8A bright yellow-green (Jan. 1870) (79,560) 200.00 2.00
RH19 H19 50R rose (shades) Die I (1.2.69) (50,000) 300.00 5.00
RH19a H19a         imperf. - -
RH20 H20 50R rose to rose-carmineDie II (1874) (120,000) 120.00 2.00
ValueDie I.Die II.
1R.India-1R-DieI India-1R-DieII
India-2R8-DieI India-2R8-DieII
10R. India-10R-Die-I India-10R-Die-II
25R. India-25R-Die-II
50R. India-50R-DieI India-50R-DieII
Some of my images are not as good as I would like.
For the 1R. and 50R, corner frames are solid or double-lined.
 For the 2R.8A. the lines of shading behind the head are thicker on Die I.  
This reduces the contrast. On Die II there is also shading, particularly
at the back of the neck, and it is easier to see the boundary of the head.
Also Die I is a very yellow shade whereas most Die II
stamps are the later orange shade.
For the 10R, Die-II letters and numbers are thicker and the head
background lighter due to thinner lines.
For the 25R, Die-II has the white ornaments shown, Die-I does not.


India-H8c 1 Anna imperf.
H8c on a part form, Bombay 7.5.1869 courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.
BB&R perfin
BB&R perfin
Perfins are known on these (though scarce).
This one 'B B & R' is an unknown user in Calcutta.
Image courtesy of Jeff Turnbull.
We would be interested to hear of other examples.

RB perfin
R3 perfin
Another from Calcutta, this is Ralli Brothers Perfin No. R 3.
This is known on H44, H47 and H48 (1890)
Image courtesy of Jeff Turnbull.


Hiscocks added the following 5 notes:

Note 1. Nos. 4-20 are listed above in value order with issue dates in brackets.
                The order of printing was 4A, 8A, 1R(Die I), 2½R(Die I), 5R, 10R(Die I), 25R(Die I), 50R(Die I),
                1R(Die II), 2A, 14¼R, 28½R, 50R(Die II), 25R(Die II), 10R(Die II), 1A, 2½R(Die II).
Note 2. Used prices are for cancelled upper halves of stamps. Stamps were occasionally used upside down
                and lower halves are worth at least x 3. Most cancellations were in black — coloured cancellations  
                (usually blue or red) command a premium of 50-100%. The Madras 'diamond' and the
                Pondicherry diamond cost x 3 and x 5 respectively.
Note 3. Nos. 'Specimen' and, more rarely, 'cancelled' sets are found. The former sell at about mint prices and  
                the latter at a little more.
Note 4. The numbers quoted above are from de la Rue archives and are approximate after allowing for
                damaged sheets and those later overprinted for Court Fee use.
Note 5. Some stamps, e.g. No. 8, are much more rare than their printings would suggest and the reasons for
                this are not known. Prices reflect this.

Unfortunately, Hiscocks says nothing about distinguishing the Dies.
He has some helpful arrowed diagrams for all but the 25R. value, but some words would have been useful.
I have tried to describe the differences better above.


As well as the two diamonds mentioned above, Ceylon and Portuguese India also used these stamps in their early days.
Ceylon, though be carefull not to read 'OMB' as 'COLOMBO' when it is more likely 'BOMBAY'.
GOA was a Portuguese colony, and another colony DAMAUN may also have used them.
I have also listed the Pondicherry diamond under French India.

Madras-diamond 1874 25 Rupee
Madras diamond 1874 on a 2½ Die I PONDICHERRY on a 25Rs.


India-Pondicherry-5-4-73 India-Pondicherry-18-8-73
Pondicherry diamond 5-4-73. Pondicherry diamond 18-8-73.




Front and back (half-size) of a typical receipt cancelled 'KARACHI 12-3 08'. This kind of cancel was normal.
Since only the top half should be on the receipt, the 1890 and 1904 series, used halves were normally indistinguishable.
Telegraph stamps were withdrawn shortly after, on 1st April 1908.



1881-82 Provisionals. 'TELEGRAPH' of various sizes (quoted sizes include stops) overprinted on revenue stamps. White or bluish wove paper, perf. 14.
The images below are from various sources and have been re-sized to be, as near as I can get, to the same scale for overprint comparison.
Warning, Forgeries about: I see many of these that are fiscally used, have forged overprints added, and then are offered for sale as genuine unused telegraphs.
Fiscal usage was often done by embossing with a large ornate design and date plugs. This should not exist on a genuine unused telegraph stamp !

Here is an example, see the embossing, it even shows date-plugs of 20/9/90, well beyond the time genuine ones were used.
The overprint also shows very ragged edges, in contrast to this genuine one below:
I hope this saves some people from wasting their money. These 3 images courtesy of Paul & Les Bottomley.


Calcutta Overprints:
Type 26, 24 x 2½mm overprint including stops - enough to span 17 perforation teeth
Type 27, 28 x 3mm overprint including stops - enough to span 20 perforation teeth

H21   (Type 26 overprint) courtesy of Tony Brown (anthonybrown55 on ebay).

India-H22 from Wikimedia Commons
H22   (Type 26 - 24 x 2½mm overprint). from Wikimedia Commons

H24   (Type 26 - 24 x 2½mm overprint). courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions. Sold as S.G. T25
This overprint looks more uneven than the others, with the 'G' slimmer.

Type 26 - 24mm x 2½mm overprint on 4As (not listed by Hiscocks - added as RH27), courtesy of Moses at mystampzone, or on ebay.

There are some apparent differences in these Type 26 overprint examples. The images are from different sources, using different scanners.
Scanners vary in their accuracy of stated resolution (something not generally specified). Also individual impressions are not always perfect.
But I cannot help wondering if these are all genuine overprints. - Any experts out there care to comment ?

Type 26 on H21 Type 26 on H21.
Type 26 on H22 Type 26 on H22.
Type 26 on H24 Type 26 on H24.
Type 26 on RH27 Type 26 on RH27.

H23, H25 and H26   (Type 27 overprint - 28 x 3mm). Images courtesy of www.stampbay.com

India-H26 India-H31
H26   (Type 27 overprint - 28 x 3mm) H31 (24 x 2 ½mm) courtesy Rupert of Strathspey Philatelics
who tells me that SG price the left half
25% more than the right half.


RH # Hisc. Ovpt. Desc. Mint Used
RH21 H21 26 1A dull lilac/blue, ovp 24x2½mm (Feb. 1882) (Note 1) 250.00 32.00
RH22 H22 26 1A dull lilac/white, ovp 24x2½mm (Feb. 1882) (Note 1) 250.00 32.00
RH23 H23 27 1A dull lilac/blue, ovp 28x3mm (Feb. 1882) (Note 1) 250.00 32.00
RH24 H24 26 2A bright lilac, ovp 24x2½mm (Feb. 1882) (Notes 2 and 3)   - -
RH25 H25 27 2A bright lilac, ovp 28x3mm (Aug. 1881) (Note 2) 150.00 32.00
RH26 H26 27 4A green, ovp 28x3mm (Aug. 1881) (Note 2) 150.00 24.00
*RH27 - 26 4A green, ovp 24x2½mm (illustrated above, Feb. 1882 ?)   - -

* I added RH27 due to the example shown.


Madras overprints: 26 x 2¾mm — no stop (18½ teeth).
These tend to be across the face of the Queen. This was very much a French-influenced area. Perhaps they had no great love of her.

India-Madras-1   India-Madras-2
Note the Pondicherry cancel. Pondicherry was part of French India and in the Madras area.
Images courtesy of Paul & Les Bottomley.

RH # Hisc. Ovpt. Desc. Mint Used
RH28 H27 28 1A pale lilac (20.3.82) (4,000) 500.00 100.00
RH29 H28 28 2A bright lilac (20.3.82) (4,000)   - -
RH30 H29 28 4A green (17.4.82) (48,000) 250.00 20.00


Bombay overprints:

RH # Hisc. Ovpt. Desc. Mint Used
RH31 H30 29 2A bright lilac, ovp 26 x 3mm — no stop (13.8.81) (400)   1250.00 400.00
RH32 H31 26 2A bright lilac, ovp 24 x 2½mm (15.8.81) (16,800) 250.00 20.00

Hiscocks added the following 6 notes:

Note 1. It will be noted that strictly speaking Nos. 21-31 comprise two separate issues — August 1881
                and February-April 1882.
Note 2. The total printing of Nos. 21, 22 and 23 was apparently 16,000 of which at least 4,000 were
                destroyed when the 1882 (second watermark)normal stamps, the late arrival of which necessitated  
                these provisionals, finally arrived.
                Some of these were supplied to Bombay which had run out of 1A special adhesives at that time.
Note 3. Numbers printed are not known for Nos. 24, 25 and 26.
Note 4. No. 24 is listed by some references but not by others.
Note 5. [The overprint on H30] is very similar to [The overprint on H23,H25 and H26] but has no stop,
                is very roughly printed with broken letters, small 'A', etc, and is usually crooked and lower down
                on the stamp. The type used on No. 31 is almost identical with [that on H21,H22 and H24] but
                may be distinguished in that the printers in Calcutta were instructed to place the overprint "over the
                coronet" and did so, while those in Bombay overprinted (as in No. 30) lower down across the face.  
Note 6. The printing of No. 28 is reported but no specimens have been observed.


1882 As the 1869 issue (Die II where applicable) but new watermark with 'fleur de lis' added. White paper, Perf. 14


W2 - with added 'fleur de lis'.
RH # Hisc. Desc. Mint Used
RH33 H32 1A green 10.00 1.25
RH33a H32a         yellow-green 10.00 1.25
RH34 H33 2A maroon 7.50 1.00
RH35 H34 4A light blue (shades) 10.00 0.50
RH36 H35 8A light brown (shades) 10.00 0.50
RH36 H35a         reddish-brown 10.00 0.60
RH37 H36 1R bluish grey 10.00 0.50
RH37 H36a         slate 10.00 0.60
RH38 H37 2R 8A reddish orange (shades)   20.00 0.60
RH38 H37a         dull orange 20.00 0.60
RH39 H38 5R orange-brown (shades) 25.00 1.25
RH39a -         watermark inverted - 55.00
RH40 H39 10R blue-green (shades) 50.00 1.88
RH41 H40 25R reddish-lilac 62.00 1.88
RH41 H40a         greyish lilac 62.00 1.88
RH42 H41 50R carmine (shades) 75.00 1.25

Hiscocks added the following 2 notes:
Note 1. The 14¼R and 28½R values, which had been introduced to meet the  
                agreed international rates in accord with the Vienna International
                Telegraph Conference of 1868, were not reprinted on W2 paper.
Note 2. Cancellations were mainly as before but some circular date stamp
                cancellations are found after about 1888. All values are occasionally
                found whole, punched, and bearing either a place name or
                'CHECK OFFICE' stamped vertically.


1890 New designs De La Rue on white wove paper. Perf. 14
Various frames with single head of Queen Victoria.

India-H42 India-H43 India-H44 India-H45 India-H46
1 Ans.   H42 2 Ans.   H43 4 Ans.   H44 8 Ans.   H45 1 R.   H46
H42 and H44 images courtesy of ibredguy.co.uk, H43 from from Wikimedia Commons - all reduced size.


India - the rest
2½ R.   H47 5 R.   H48 10 R.   H49 25 R.   H50 50 R.   H51
The rest of the set (reduced size as specimens), courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.


RH # Hisc. Desc. Mint Used
RH43 H42 1A yellowish green (Aug. 1890) 12.00 0.50
RH44 H43 2A maroon (Jan. 1891) 12.00 1.00
RH45 H44 4A blue (shades) (Aug. 1890) 16.00 0.50
RH46 H45 8A brown (Aug. 1890) 16.00 0.50
RH47 H46 1R grey (Aug. 1890) 16.00 0.50
RH47a H46a        bluish grey 16.00 0.50
RH48 H47 2R 8A orange (shades) (Jan. 1891)   40.00 2.00
RH49 H48 5R brownish orange (Jan. 1891) 32.00 1.50
RH50 H49 10R blue-green (Jan. 1891) 60.00 1.50
RH51 H50 25R bright lilac (Jan. 1891) 80.00 3.00
RH52 H51 50R carmine (Jan. 1891) 100.00 4.00

Hiscocks added the following 3 notes:

Note 1. A large proportion of the 2½R stamps (No. 47) in stock in India and those at the printers (de la Rue)  
                were converted to 2R as below.
Note 2. Stamps of this issue are occasionally met with used whole — prices as for mint.
Note 3. Used half stamps can be difficult to allocate between the above issue and those of King Edward VII  
                (1904) and many cannot be allocated at all — see note below No. 65. Prices above are for those  
                which can be identified.


1899-1900 Provisionals. Overprinted or surcharged in black. Perf. 14

These were used while awaiting H55 below, which were actually a bit of a disaster because the colour was hard to see and
there was a danger of the stamp being affixed inverted (entailing the fining of the clerk responsible)
The stamps then had to be marked with a red line to prevent it.

H52 Specimen Puzzle H53 H54
Calcutta 2 Rupees overprint on H47.
This is a bit of a puzzle, compare it to H53.
It has a similar overprint plus on the right-hand
side says 'SPECIMEN ONLY'
It is stated to have a boxed advert for Errington and
on the back. These stamp importers used
near-worthless stamps to advertise their company.
They also had a reputation for combatting forgery.
Is this a genuine specimen of an unknown essay,
or a forgers attempt to discredit them ?
If the last, they went to a lot of work for nothing.
Anyone have something similar ?
Image courtesy of Paul & Les Bottomley.
Courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.
De La Rue 2 Rupees overprint on H47.


Forgers have been at work here too.

Calcutta overprint Calcutta overprint Double overprint forgery Overprint on 4As forgery
De La Rue overprint De La Rue overprint
Forgery overprint Forgery overprint

This is presumably intended to look like a double overprint and a 2Rs on 4As.
Images courtesy of Paul & Les Bottomley.
For the sake of completion, here is a comparison of the 'TELEGRAPH' overprint on H53 and the dubious item above, together with the earlier Provisional issue of Calcutta.

Type 26 on H22 Type 26 on H22.
Type 27 Mockup Type 27 - Mockup.
Sorry, I don't have
a complete scan.
The type on H53 The type used
on H53.
The Dubious type The dubious type.
The straight-legged
'R' is unusual.

Note the lack of a
'.' on the end.


4 Annas on 1 Rupee
for this 4A on 1R (No. 46)  see H68 below.
RH # Hisc. Desc. Mint Used
RH53 H52 2R on 2½R (N0. 47) (4.9.99) (236,960) 125.00 10.00
RH54 H53 2R 'TELEGRAPH' on Foreign Bill purple (see note) (24.2.00) (14,467)   600.00 100.00
RH55 H54 2R on 2½R (N0. 47) (30.4.00) (283,840) 125.00 10.00

Hiscocks added the following 2 notes:

Note 1. No. 52 was prepared in Calcutta to fill the gap while No. 55 (below) was being prepared
                by de la Rue. There are many minor varieties. At the same time de la Rue was instructed to
                surcharge such copies of No. 47 as they had in stock to produce No. 54. Stocks of No. 52 ran  
                out before No. 54 reached India and No. 53 was produced in Calcutta to meet demand.
                Its life was very short and it is rare: the majority were called in and destroyed
                (except for the 'leakage' of one or two sheets) when No. 54 arrived.
Note 2. No. 53 was overprinted on 40 year old Foreign Bill stamps on thick bluish 'enamelled' safety paper,  
                watermarked W1. The watermark is hard to see on such thick paper — for printers as well as
                philatelists — and inverted watermarks might well exist for No. 53 as for most
                Foreign Bill stamps of this issue.


1890 (14 November) New design (Angeli Head)
De La Rue on white wove paper. Watermark W2, perf. 14

RH # Hisc. Desc. Mint Used
RH56 H55 2R yellow 100.00 15.00
RH56a H55a        red line printed across lower half. 100.00 -
RH56b H55b        red line hand-ruled across lower half.   100.00 -

For used 2R brown-orange see H61.

Hiscocks added the following 3 notes:

Note 1. Copies used whole sell as mint.
Note 2. The unfortunate colour made the design difficult to see under the primitive artificial light of the time.  
                Since the use of a stamp upside down resulted in the clerk being fined the value of the stamp
                (because it was assumed that any lower half in public hands would be used to construct a
                'new stamp') the offices in Madras and Bombay ruled lines across the lower half in red ink while  
                the Calcutta office printed red lines before issue.
Note 3. One set of colour trials in various shades of yellow and orange is known (ex de la Rue).


With the Angeli Head.

Taken from page 162 of Hiscocks book.

Can anyone provide a scan of H55 ?


1904 Altered designs.
for King Edward VII. Other details as previous.
Reduced size images, courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.

RH # Hisc. Desc. Mint Used
RH57 H56 1A yellow-green 12.00 0.75
RH58 H57 2A maroon 12.00 1.20
RH59 H58 4A light blue 12.00 0.60
RH60 H59 8A brown 16.00 0.60
RH61 H60 1R grey 16.00 0.60
RH62 H61 2R brown-orange   32.00 1.25
RH63 H62 5R orange-brown   40.00 1.88
RH64 H63 10R bluish green   60.00 2.50
RH65 H64 25R bright lilac 80.00 2.50
RH66 H65 50R carmine 100.00 4.00

Hiscocks added the following 2 notes:

Note 1. Except in the obvious case of No. 61 it is difficult to distinguish between top halves of the
                1890 and 1904 issues. Darker shades of blue on the 4A usually indicate the earlier issue but
                otherwise one can only be certain if either they bear cancellation dates in 1903 or earlier (this does
                not work in reverse of course) or the cuts are sufficiently low to show the difference imposed on the
                designs by the insertion of the imperial crown over the head of King Edward.
                Many used stamps of these issues cannot be unambiguously assigned and sell for perhaps £0.10.
Note 2. Used whole stamps are not particularly rare and sell at a little below mint. They arise because telegraph  
                stamps only were used at separate telegraph offices — found only in big towns — where they were
                bisected in the usual way. Elsewhere telegraph and post offices were combined and postage stamps
                were used for inland telegrams, the stamps being stuck only on the message part of the form where it  
                would eventually be destroyed after checking. Telegraph stamps were acceptable in whole or part
                payment but would be stuck entirely on the message part like or with the postage stamps.
                Whole used copies thus result from leakage from the checking offices.
                This use of whole stamps below the line continued to be permitted for the 5 to 50R values after the
                abolition of telegraph stamps on 1 April 1908.


1904 (July) Provisionals surcharged in black on Foreign Bill and Telegraph stamps. Perf. 14

India-H66 India-H66 India-H22 from Wikimedia Commons
H66   courtesy of ibredguy.co.uk H67 Specimen
courtesy of Martin Robinson
H68 Specimen
from Wikimedia Commons


RH # Hisc. Desc. Mint Used
RH67 H66 1A on 4R Foreign Bill, Purple on white to blue (205,508)   15.00 3.75
RH67a H66a        numeral '1' missing in upper half. 125.00 50.00
RH67b H66b        letters of 'ANNA' spaced out in upper half. 50.00 20.00
RH67c H66c        'h' for 'H' in upper 'TELEGRAPH'. 50.00 20.00
RH67d H66d        watermark inverted . 30.00 10.00
RH67e H66e        'C' for 'G' in lower 'TELEGRAPH'. 50.00 -
RH68 H67 2R on 8A (No. 59) brown (190,707) 25.00 5.00
RH69 H68 4A on 1R (No. 46) grey (441,082) 20.00 5.00

Hiscocks added the following 3 notes:

Note 1. These provisionals arose from a run on low values caused by a change of tariff early in 1904.
                They were printed in Calcutta.
Note 2. No. 66, like No. 53, is on the old Foreign Bill of watermark W1 on pinkish white to bluish thick,
                enamelled safety paper. Printing was poor and many non-systematic errors occur in addition to the  
                systematic errors listed above. No. 66(a) occurred once in each pane (twice per sheet) but was
                quickly noted and corrected: it is therefore rare. The others also occurred once in each pane.
Note 3. These stamps were in use from July to 17 August (1A and 2A values) and 24 August (4A) when
                remainders in the Calcutta stamp office were destroyed. The numbers above are those issued
                (i.e. those printed minus those destroyed).



Postal Service.

An exhibit by Steven Zwillinger of the USA displays an example of this form as well as some pre-stamped forms and Telegraph stamps.
The exhibit specifically relates to the Edwardian issues. Interestingly it mentions that the 1906 Postal Service issue could
be used to pay for telegrams at combined Post and Telegraph Offices, "though none are recorded."
These would get telegraph cancels, whereas in normal use (Customs Duty) these stamps would get purple cancels.

Postal Service ½ A. Postal Service 1 A. Postal Service 2 As. Postal Service 4 As. Postal Service 8 As.
A range of Postal Service stamps with the normal purple cancels.

Postal Service 8 As.
An example of an 8As used in Calcutta with a black cancel.

I do not know if the same applied to the Victorian issues - Telegraphic cancels on both are worth looking out for.


After Telegraph Stamps .

A notice from T. D. Berrington, Director General of Telegraphs, dated 2nd March 1908 stated:

"From 1st April 1908 ordinary postage stamps will be used in place of
the double Telegraph Stamps in payment of Telegrams at all Telegraph Offices.
But as the stock of Postage Stamps of the higher denominations, of one rupee
and upwards will not be sufficient to meet the demands of both the Telegraph
and Postal Departments at present, and as there is no Postage Stamp of a
higher denomination than Rs. 5, Telegraph Stamps to the value of one rupee
and upwards will continue to be used till such time as a further supply of the
higher denominations of Postage Stamps is received; and two new Postage
Stamps of Rs. 10 and Rs. 15, respectively, are manufactured.
Service  Postage  Stamps  i. e.  Postage  Stamps  overprinted  with  the
letters On H. M. S. may be used in payment of state Telegrams.
When a  Telegram is paid for partly in  Postage and  partly in Telegraph
Stamps the latter should be affixed whole but lengthways on the Telegram form.
The Stamps must be affixed by the sender himself to the Telegram form.
The counter clerk (i. e. the booking clerk) will merely calculate the charges and
sell the stamps to the sender to be affixed to the Telegram form in the proper
place. When the stamps have been affixed, the counter clerk will obliterate
each one with the Name and Date Stamp of the office in the presence of the
The receipt to be granted to the Sender will bear no Stamp or portion
of a stamp."


After the withdrawal of special Telegraph stamps on 1st April 1908, normal postage stamps were used for the purpose.
They can be recognised by distinctive cancels.

Telegraph cancel  Telegraph cancel on Simla
25Rs used in Madras and 5Rs Service used in Simla (now Shimla).
Various codes are used on these :

G.T.D. - General Telegraph Division.
G.T.O. - General Telegraph Office.
S.T.C. - Subscriber Trunk Calling.
S.T.D. - Subscriber Trunk Dialing.
I.T.D. - International Trunk Dialing.



Used Abroad

This Indian Telegraph cancel can be found on stamps of other countries.


Telegraph cancel on Kuwait 1922 - front  Telegraph cancel on Kuwait 1922 - back
Front and back of a Telegraph piece used in Kuwait in 1922.
I suspect that 'M.T.D.' stands for 'Military Telegraph Department', can anyone confirm or deny ?

Telegraph cancel on Kuwait 1923
A year later with a 'KUWAIT' overprint. These are typically on higher denomination stamps.
Similar items can be found for Burma, Pakistan and I'm sure more places.


Mesopotamia / Iraq.

Magil-1 Magil-3

Magil (corruption of Al Ma'qil), near Basra, was occupied in 1916 to protect British oil installations.
Images courtesy of Andrew Higson.

Telegraph cancel on Iraq
This is dated 28 August 1920, a pivotal year for Mesopotamia that had just been re-named Iraq by the British.
Indian troops had been needed to suppress a rebellion against British rule. The overprint is on a Turkish stamp
as the area had been part of the Ottoman Empire up until the first World War.
The cancel is inscribed AMARAN / I. E. F. D. TELEGRAPHS



Service Telegraph Stamps.

Queen Victoria double headed issue (date and watermark unknown) Illustrated by C.S.F.Crofton (1905).
Handstamped "ON THE PUBLIC SERVICE ONLY" known (so far) on 10R only.

Taken from page 165 of Hiscocks book.
image from Hiscocks page 165

RH # Hisc. Desc. Mint Used
RH70 H69 10R bluish green   - -


1908(?) Stamps of 1904 overprinted 'OHMS' in black.

India-H73 India-H74
H73 and H74   courtesy of Martin Robinson


RH # Hisc. Desc. Mint Used
RH71 H70 2R brown-orange (40,800)   50.00 -
RH72 H71 5R orange-brown (10,000)   50.00 -
RH73 H72 10R bluish green (2,400) 75.00 -
RH74 H73 25R bright lilac (2,000) 100.00 -
RH75 H74 50R carmine (800) 150.00 -

Hiscocks added the following note:

Note. There is no evidence that these stamps were ever actually used although the upper halves are in fact the  
                same as normal stamps and lower halves might all have been destroyed in the usual way.


1904+? Bombay Police Department.
Taken from page 166 of Hiscocks book.
For the moment I am having to take this from page 166 of Hiscocks book. Can anyone provide scans of any of these ?

Hand-stamped in various colours "BO. POLICE DEPTT"

Though very unclear, this would seem to be a
purple handstamp saying "Madras Police Dept."
Clearly it pre-dates the ones above. Status unknown.
Adding as RH76. Image courtesy of Gerald
RH # Hisc. Desc. Mint Used
RH76 - 2A Madras Police Dept. - -
RH77 H75 1A (N0. 32) (colour ?) - -
RH78 H76 2A (N0. 33) (colour ?) - -
RH79 H77 1A (N0. 42) (colour ?) - -
RH80 H78 1A (N0. 56) (blue-green)   125.00 -
RH81 H79 1A (N0. 56) (blue) - -
RH82 H80 1A (N0. 56) (purple) 125.00 -
RH83 H81 2A (N0. 57) (blue-green) 125.00 -
RH84 H82 2A (N0. 57) (blue) 125.00 -
RH85 H83 2A (N0. 57) (purple) 125.00 -
RH86 H84 4A (N0. 58) (blue-green) 125.00 -
RH87 H85 4A (N0. 58) (blue) - -
RH88 H86 4A (N0. 58) (purple) - -
RH89 H87 8A (N0. 59) (blue-green) 125.00 -
RH90 H88 8A (N0. 59) (blue) - -
RH91 H89 8A (N0. 59) (purple) - -
RH92 H90 1R (N0. 60) (blue-green) - -
RH93 H91 1R (N0. 60) (blue) - -
RH94 H92 1R (N0. 60) (purple) - -

Hiscocks added the following 2 notes:

Note 1. The status of these stamps is obscure. I have seen no evidence of their actual use but it is quite possible  
                that both halves were officially destroyed after use. They may however have been trials.
Note 2. Those priced above I have seen and Nos. 75, 76 and 77 have been reported. A somewhat vague
                description in a 1972 auction catalogue adds the 1R value but the hand-stamp colour is not given.
                I have surmized that complete sets of the 1904 issues to 1R were done in all these colours and that
                the earlier stamps were done at the same time (1904 or later) using old stock which happened to be  
                available. Further information is needed.


Overprinted "BOMBAY / POLICE DEPARTMENT." in black.

RH # Hisc. Desc. Mint Used
RH95 H93 1A (N0. 56)   - -
RH96 H94 2A (N0. 57) - -
RH97 H95 4A (N0. 58) 125.00 -
RH98 H96 8A (N0. 59) 125.00 -
RH99 H97 1R (N0. 60) 125.00 -
RH100 H98 2R (N0. 61) 125.00 -

Hiscocks added the following note:

Note. Note 1 above again applies and again only those priced have been seen and the others assumed to exist.  
                Both the No. 75-92 and the No. 93-98 series could, of course extend to higher values.


Overprinted similar to above, but for the Central Provinces Police Department.

RH # Hisc. Desc. Mint Used
RH101 H99 1A (N0. 56)   150.00 -
RH102 H100 2A (N0. 57) 150.00 -
RH103 H101 * 4A (N0. 58) - -
RH104 H102 8A (N0. 59) 150.00 -
RH105 H103 1R (N0. 60) 150.00 -

*H101 was actually omitted from the catalogue, it jumps from 100 to 102. I have assumed it was a typo and that the 4A was intended to be there.

Hiscocks added the following note:

Note. Nos. 99-103 were sold in a Robson Lowe auction on 28 March 1974. I have seen no other reference to them.  

and also:

General Note. Early literature refers in general terms to other semi-official overprints. I have found no specific  
                evidence of these and would welcome information.


Jammu & Kashmir State Telegraph Stamps.

Steve Hiscocks wrote:

Telegraph lines from Srinagar to Jammu and to Gilgit were constructed according to a treaty of 1878 between the State Government and the Government of India. The lines were later extended along the State Railway lines according to a further treaty of 1890.
The first telegraph stamps were locally produced in sheets of 60 by multiple hand stamping with a single die for each value. An issue date of 1884 is usually accepted although a date of around 1880 might seem more probable. The design consists of the arms of the State with military supporters, the denomination in Persian script and "Jammu Kashmir Tibet Telegraphs" in Dogra (the local script): the "Tibet" referred to Ladakh which was then known as 'Little Tibet'. In use these stamps were bisected, as were those of the Government of India, and cancelled in manuscript or with an oval stamp in black or purple. Used copies, especially on piece, are very rare. It has been reported that many postage stamps were used in parallel with the telegraph stamps and in fact almost superceded them but postage stamps so used have not come to light and there is some doubt about this
In 1896 it was decided that the Government of India 'double stamp' system should be adopted and essays were received from de la Rue. Designs and colours were agreed in January 1897 (not 1903 as given in some catalogues). The first consignment was on plain paper and later consignments were on watermarked paper.
In May 1910 the regulations were changed such as to permit the use of 'single' stamps and de la Rue undertook to prepare designs from the upper halves of the previous issue . These were agreed in September 1910 and consignments sent out from July 1911 to March 1929 or perhaps a little later.
A new design depicting the ruler, Sir Hat Singh, and based on a current revenue stamp was ordered in 1932 and produced in late 1933. They were presumably issued in 1934.
At some unknown date, possibly around 1941, a further change of design occurred and stamps were printed locally or possibly by the Indian Government Security Printing Press at Nasik Road. The design is rather similar to that of the previous issue but with an altered frame. Both of the 'Sir Hari Singh issues' are very rare.
It is not known for certain when the use of Kashmir telegraph stamps ceased. They were still in use in 1948 and it seems probable that the Jammu and Kashmir Telegraph system was absorbed into the Indian system with the abandonment of the use of telegraph stamps, on 1 April 1950 when most State Postal Systems were taken over.
One mystery remains. A UK collector has seen a stamp similar to the last issue described above but with the word 'WIRELESS' in place of 'TELEGRAPH'. It is not known whether this is a telegraph stamp or some sort of revenue stamp — perhaps for the payment of a radio tax.

My notes:
Perhaps surprisingly, his introduction makes no mention of the many Provisional overprints. I have tried to replace his black and white
images with colour ones and have done that for quite a few, but not all. I have in the process found new ones, which suggests that I will
find a lot more new ones before finding all the ones that he illustrated.
I would really welcome scans of more provisional overprints to try and complete this.
The 1941(?) issue mostly ended up being overprinted for fiscal use. The monarchy was abolished in 1952 and Sir Hari Singh died on 26 April 1961.
His death may account for a new stamp, and/or the fiscal overprinting. John Barefoot also describes a Telegraph stamp similar to the last,
still inscribed 'TELEGRAPH' but with a lotus plant in place of a monarchs head. There is some very useful information at kashmirstamps.com


1884(?) Handstamped on locally made (white or buff) wove paper, no watermark, imperf.
Taken from page 168 of Hiscocks book.
For the moment I am having to take this from page 168 of Hiscocks book. The denominations are given in Persian.

H1b H2 H3
1 Anna.   H1a 2 Annas.   H2 4 Annas.   H3
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht


H4 H5 H5 forgery
8 Annas.   H4 1 Rupee.   H5 1 Rupee.   H5 Forgery, see Note 4 below
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht From Wiki Commons.


H6 H7
2 Rupees.   H6 5 Rupees.   H7
Courtesy of Paul & Les Bottomley Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht

These stamps were bisected in use, like the Indian telegraph stamps. Examples shown below.
They were cancelled by manuscript or an oval hand-stamp in black or purple.
Used copies, especially on piece are very rare.

RH # Hisc. Desc. Mint Used
RH1 H1 1A green 10.00 50.00
RH1a H1a         yellow-green 10.00 50.00
RH1b H1b         bluish green 10.00 50.00
RH1c H1c         olive green 20.00 100.00
RH2 H2 2A brown 10.00 50.00
RH2a H2a         dark brown 10.00 50.00
RH2b H2b         greyish brown 10.00 50.00
RH3 H3 4A ultramarine 15.00 50.00
RH3a H3a         royal blue 15.00 50.00
RH4 H4 8A brownish yellow (shades)   25.00 75.00
RH4a H4a        brownish orange (shades)   25.00 75.00
RH4b H4b         greyish yellow 25.00 75.00
RH4c H4c         olive yellow 25.00 75.00
RH5 H5 1R scarlet (shades) 30.00 75.00
RH5a H5a         red 30.00 75.00
RH5b H5b         dull redish brown 30.00 75.00
RH6 H6 2R dark greenish slate (shades) 50.00 100.00
RH7 H7 5R chocolate 75.00 150.00
RH8 H8 10R vermilion - -
RH9 H9 25R violet - -

Hiscocks added the following 5 notes:

Note 1. Three different wove papers were used for the above series:
                        1. Thin white wove.
                        2. Thin fine wove — pale buff.
                        3. Thin white coarse — buff.
                These have not been separately listed for lack of specific information but may be in a future edition.
                From limited observation Nos. 1 and 2 are commonly found on paper types 2 and 3 while all values  
                are found on paper type 1.
Note 2. Nos. 8 and 9 are listed in all earlier catalogues but no UK collector has to my knowledge seen copies  
                of either. They are therefore listed but unpriced.
Note 3. There is an apparent 'variety' of No. 3 in which the blue pigment is oxidised almost to black.
Note 4. Two non-philatelic forgeries of No. 5 exist. In the more common the sun is 1mm clear of the upper
                frame line compared with almost touching in the genuine and the shield is narrower (7¾mm) than in
                the genuine (about 9mm). The shield pattern consists of three jagged lines without the three separate
                'suns' and there are minor differences at all points. I have not seen the other forgery but it is reported  
                that the Dogra script is gibberish: whether this helps in the majority of cases where the script is
                badly smudged is not clear.
Note 5. For the same designs in black see Nos. 76-89.

The second forgery mentioned in Note.4 was apparently produced from an illustration in Moens'Catalogue of 1885/6.


A puzzle.

H1 overprint ? H2 overprint ? These stamps were normally torn in half when used
so I am assuming these pink markings are
an overprint or surcharge of some kind.

Anyone recognise them or have information about them ?

Images courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.

H3 overprint ?



I have only seen referencies to forgeries of the 1 Rupee stamp as mentioned by Steve Hiscocks in note 4 above.
However it is apparent that, although that may have been true at one time, it is no longer true.
There are now some in circulation that are simply the wrong size, shrunk by 10% to 20%, and at least one in the wrong colour too.

Normal (300dpi):
Pair of 1A
34mm across frame.

Shrunk (300dpi):
30mm across frame
Kashmir-12 Forgery
At the top is a pair of 1 Anna and a 5 Rupee that as far as I can tell are genuine. Below these are stamps at the same scale of 300dpi, 1 Anna, 4 Annas, a 5 Rupees in the correct colour and another 5R in green. All are significantly smaller.
Perhaps they were copied from examples on the internet without knowing the correct size, and reproduced. As always, buyer beware !

The 5Rs on the top row and the one in green are courtesy of Paul & Les Bottomley.



1887(?) As above but on thin cream laid paper.

RH # Hisc. Desc. Mint Used
RH10 H10 1A yellowish green (shades) 25.00 75.00
RH11 H11 2A brown (shades) 25.00 75.00
RH12 H12 4A ultramarine (shades) 25.00 75.00
RH13 H13 8A brownish yellow (shades)   40.00 100.00
RH14 H14 1R red (shades) 50.00 125.00

Hiscocks added the following note:

Note. Used prices for Nos. 1-14 are for half stamps. Whole used copies are occasionally found but are  
                        very rare — prices x 3.

Here are some used examples on piece, courtesy of Stanley Gibbons. (Scaled as close as I can to 300dpi)
2As at the top, 1A and 1R at the bottom. Despite poor condition, these might at least help to identify forgeries.



1897 Printed by de la Rue on white wove paper. No watermark. Perf. 14.

half Anna half Anna
Some examples of these (reduced size), with the bulk of them courtesy of Rarities Stamp Auctions (click image to see listing).


RH # Hisc. 1897 Desc. Mint Used
RH15 H15 1A bright blue and carmine (5,200) 100.00 40.00
RH16 H16 2A bright reddish violet and olive brown (5,400)   100.00 40.00
RH17 H17 4A rose carmine and olive brown (5,400) 100.00 40.00
RH18 H18 8A yellow and light blue (10,240) 75.00 30.00
RH19 H19 1R yellow orange and reddish violet (5,360) 100.00 40.00
RH20 H20 2R brown and light blue (5,600) 100.00 40.00
RH21 H21 5R bluish green and carmine(5,520) 150.00 50.00
Used examples
Used examples (4A & 1A) on part form courtesy of Iain from Anglo-Indian-affairs on ebay.
Though an impressive cancel, they seem hard to get a meaningful date from.
LEH is the capital of Ladakh, a large area within Jammu & Kashmir. The dates were
apparently according to an ancient Tibetan Lunar calendar, which probably explains
why they are hard to match against the Western date. Subtract 56.7 from the year.

Telegram Receipts.

Telegram Receipt
Used 28/3/1908 with stamps of
4As, 1A and 8As on 5Rs for a total of 13As. Image courtesy of David Wild

Telegram Receipt
Used 10/4/1908 with stamps of
8As on 5Rs, 4As and 2As for a total of 14As. Image courtesy of David Wild


H27, 8As to scale at 300dpi.
Watermark W1
1899 As above but watermarked multiple rosettes (W1).
RH # Hisc. Desc. Mint Used
RH22 H22 ½A blackish olive and blue green (30,800) (1909)   50.00 40.00
RH23 H23 1A bright blue and carmine (73,240) 50.00 40.00
RH24 H24 2A bright reddish violet and olive brown (86,280) 50.00 40.00
RH25 H25 4A rose carmine and olive brown (86,080) 50.00 40.00
RH26 H26 6A violet and sage green (26,000) (1909) 100.00 80.00
RH27 H27 8A yellow and light blue (25,280) 100.00 80.00
RH28 H28 1R yellow orange and reddish violet (10,280) 80.00 60.00
RH29 H29 2R brown and light blue (5,280) 100.00 80.00
RH30 H30 5R bluish green and carmine - -
Watermark W1

Hiscocks added the following 3 notes:

Note 1. In Nos. 15 to 30 the frame colour is given first and the colour of the side and lower tablets second.
Note 2. The 'numbers printed', in brackets above, are from the de la Rue records. Those for the 1897 issue
                (Nos. 15-21) are probably correct but it must be remembered that they include any subsequently
                overprinted for provisionals. Those for the 1899 issue are probably incomplete and must be
                regarded as minimum numbers. The records show no printing of the 5R value on watermarked paper  
                but this stamp is known watermarked overprinted as provisionals indicating at least one further
                printing. It has not however been reported without overprint on watermarked paper and is therefore
                not priced in that state above.
Note 3. Used prices are for upper halves. Used whole stamps have not been recorded. The most usual form
                of cancellation is a large black shield containing the office and date on the samvat system —
                i.e. 57 years ahead of common usage.


1906-1909(?) Provisionals. Stamps of 1897 and 1899 surcharged as indicated in black. Other details as above.

Page-170-T3 Page-170-T4 Page-170-T5
Type 3 Type 4   No serifs Type 5   With Serifs


Page-170-T6 Page-170-T7 Page-170-T7A
Type 6 Type 7 Type 7A   (RH36)


Page-170-8 Anna overprint Page-170-8 Anna overprint Page-170-8 Anna overprint
Type 8, 9 or 10 ?
This has no serifs and thick, squat lettering.
Unfortunately several types are like this but with
differences in the bottom half.
Type 12? (from piece dated 10/4/1908)
This is quite narrow and matches Type 12 best.
Type 15A ?
This has serifs but is it Type 13, 14, 15 or a new one ?
The '8' looks like Type 14, but the 'S' does not.
This could be Type 15A (see below)

With Steve Hiscocks original images being reduced size in black and white half-tone,
it is not easy to distinguise between some of them, especially with only top halves.
As mentioned in his notes below, there are also some that were not listed.

The left image is courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht. The other two images, courtesy of David Wild include at least one new one.


Small-thick '8 ANNAS' without serifs at the top

Page-170-T8 Page-170-T9/10 JK Type 9A Page-170-T11
Type 8   Large letters at the bottom
courtesy of Stamptrain on Ebay.
Type 10
'E' of 'EIGHT' to left of 'N' of 'ANNAS'.
Type 9
'E' of 'EIGHT' above 'N' of 'ANNAS'.
Type 9A
'E' left of 'N' of 'ANNAS', 'T' near 'S'.
Type 11   'T' over 'A'
courtesy of Auktionshaus Christoph Gärtner


Large '8 ANNAS' at the top with serifs

Page-170-T12 Page-170-T13 Page-170-T14 Page-170-T15 Page-170-T15C
Type 12
courtesy of Stamptrain on Ebay.
Type 13 Type 14 Type 15
courtesy of Stamptrain on Ebay.
Type 15A similar but different to Types 13-15
courtesy of Auktionshaus Christoph Gärtner

Black and white images taken from Hiscocks Book Page 170.


JK H31
RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH31 H31 3 ½A on 1A (No. 23) 300.00 120.00
RH32 H32 4 1A on 2R (No. 20) 250.00 90.00
RH33 H33 5 1A on 2R (No. 29) (1907-8)   250.00 90.00
RH34 H34 6 2A on 2R (No. 20) 250.00 90.00
RH35 H35 7 4A on 2R (No. 20) 250.00 90.00
RH36 H35a 7A 4A on 2R (No. 20) 250.00 90.00
RH37 H36 7 4A on 5R (No. 21) 250.00 90.00
RH38 H37 8 8A on 5R (No. 30) 180.00 50.00
RH39 H38 9 8A on 5R (No. 30) 180.00 60.00
RH40 H39 10 8A on 5R (No. 30) 180.00 60.00
RH41 H40 11 8A on 5R (No. 30) 180.00 60.00
RH42 H41 12 8A on 5R (No. 30) 180.00 60.00
RH43 H42 13 8A on 5R (No. 30) 180.00 90.00
RH44 H43 14 8A on 5R (No. 30) 180.00 90.00
RH45 H44 15 8A on 5R (No. 30) 180.00 90.00
RH46 - 15A 8A on 5R (No. 30) 180.00 90.00
RH47 - 9A 8A on 5R (No. 30) 180.00 90.00

Hiscocks added the following 3 notes:

Note 1. Nos. 45 to 49 have been left unallocated to accommodate new discoveries although a further four varieties,  
                which have come to light since the above was set, make it seem likely that there are many more.
                There are now known to be two varieties of the '4 ANNAS' overprint — one in thick sans-serif capitals
                as illustrated and one in thinner serifed capitals.
                There would seem to be three main types of '8 ANNAS' upper-half overprints — thick small sans-serif,
                medium serifed and large serifed. While the upper parts of the overprints remain more or less constant
                within these types, the lower parts all vary in detail and it is possible that there were three settings
                of 40 with the lower parts of the overprints different in most or even all cases.
Note 2. All currently known copies of Nos. 37-44 are on the watermarked 5R. Earlier catalogues suggest that all
                are on the unwatermarked variety and it is possible that both types of at least some provisionals exist.
Note 3. Whole or mint copies of the lower values (Nos. 31-36) must have existed at some time since illustrations
                of both halves have long been available in various catalogues.
                Mint copies are not, to my knowledge, now known and they have not therefore been priced.

My note: While Hiscocks left some spare numbers for stamps, he left no spare numbers for Types.
I will call them Types 7A, 15A etc. Types 3 to 7 are relatively scarce mint.
Since the rest show a lot of variability on the bottom half (not normally found used),
there may be many more undescribed low value types.
Steve Hiscocks left some spare numbers. I will do the same (for the same reasons).


1911 New design based on upper half of previous issue. Paper as before. Perf. 14.
Hiscocks Book Pg171

RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH50 H50 16 ½A blackish olive and blue green (46,000) (1913) 120.00 -
RH51 H51 16 1A bright blue and carmine (219,280) (1911) 75.00 -
RH52 H52 16 2A bright reddish violet and olive brown(247,760) (1913)   75.00 -
RH53 H53 16 4A rose carmine and olive brown (251,200) (1912) 75.00 -
RH54 H54 16 6A violet and sage green (175,600) (1913) 100.00 -
RH55 H55 16 8A yellow and bright blue (189,360) (1912) 100.00 -
RH56 H56 16 1R yellow-orange and reddish violet (98,640) (1916) 120.00 -
RH57 H57 16 2R brown and light blue (10,560) (1921) 200.00 -
RH58 H58 16 5R bluish green and carmine (10,320) (1921) 200.00 -

Hiscocks added the following 2 notes:

Note 1. While I have not seen copies of most of the above (Nos. 50-58) it is stated in the de la Rue records that
                there was to be no change in colours and I have assumed that this was so.
Note 2. The printings given in brackets are from de la Rue records. No printings between 1922 and 1929 or after  
                1929 are listed however and it seems probable that the records are incomplete.
                The above printings should therefore be regarded as minimum numbers except perhaps in the case of
                Nos. 57 and 58 where the rate of usage was so low that a printing was not required for 10 years and a
                second printing probably not needed.

My Note: I have seen a 4As stamp overprinted for use as a Special Adhesive, so the quantities given by Hiscocks may not all have been used as Telegraph stamps.

Beware of similar fiscal stamps being sold as Telegraph stamps. Look for the word 'TELEGRAPH'.


1930 Provisional. Surcharged in black on No. 56 by de la Rue.
Hiscocks Book Pg172
This is taken from Hiscocks Book Page 172.

RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH59 H59 17 12A on 1R (No. 56) (12,320)   240.00 -

Hiscocks added the following 3 notes:

Note 1. The printing quoted for No. 56 excludes those surcharged for No. 59 in March 1930.
Note 2. Locally printed provisionals on 1911-16 issues have not been reported and No. 59 is only known from de
                la Rue records. It is quite probable that locally prepared provisionals were used to fill the gap while
                delivery of No. 59 was awaited.
Note 3. Precise details of the change of usage allowing the employment of smaller stamps are not known but it seems  
                certain, in view of the large numbers printed and the scarcity of mint and virtual absence of used copies,
                that the new procedure resulted in their remaining in official hands at all stages.


1934 New design (Sir Hari Singh). Recess printed by de la Rue on white wove paper. Watermark W1. Perf. 14.
Hiscocks Book Pg172

RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH60 H60 18 1A deep blue (Sept. 1933) 60.00 -
RH61 H61 18 2A light chocolate (June 1934) 75.00 -
RH62 H62 18 4A dull green (Sept. 1933) 75.00 -
RH63 H63 18 8A deep reddish orange (Sept. 1933)   75.00 -
RH64 H64 18 12A yellow orange(Sept. 1933) 75.00 -
RH65 H65 18 1R violet (Sept. 1933) 100.00 -
RH66 H66 18 2R rose-carmine (Sept. 1933) 150.00 -
RH67 H67 18 5R black (June 1934) 180.00 -

Hiscocks added the following 2 notes:

Note 1. The dates in brackets above are those of printing. It is assumed that actual issue was early in 1934.
Note 2. The 2A and 5R values (Nos. 61 and 67) were issued in blocks of ten. All other values were in sheets of 40.  


1941(?) New design (Sir Hari Singh). Typographed on white wove paper. No watermark. Perf. 14.

H68 H70 H71 H73
1 Anna.   H68 4 Anna.   H70 8 Anna.   H71 1 Rupee.   H73

Type 19.   -   H68, H70 and H71 are courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.

RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH68 H68 19 1A blue 60.00 -
RH69 H69 19 2A chocolate 75.00 -
RH70 H70 19 4A dull green 75.00 -
RH71 H71 19 8A orange-red 75.00 -
RH72 H72 19 12A orange-yellow   75.00 -
RH73 H73 19 1R violet 100.00 -
RH74 H74 19 2R carmine 125.00 -
RH75 H75 19 5R black 125.00 -

The fact that the 1Anna at least was overprinted to make
Receipt stamps suggests that they saw little use.
Some were also overprinted for use as Special Adhesives.
A later type was created for the 1 Rupee though.
See also note 4 below. Image courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht

Hiscocks added the following 5 notes:

Note 1. Nos. 68-75 were apparently produced in India — possibly at the Government Security Press as Nasik Road.
Note 2. The date of issue is unknown. The new design may have been necessitated by the difficulty of obtaining supplies.  
                from England after the outbreak of war in 1939.
Note 3. The colours of Nos. 74 and 75 are assumed by analogy with those of the 1934 set (Nos. 66 and 67).
Note 4. Nos. 70 and 71 are known overprinted 'Spl: Adh', i.e. Special Adhesive.
                This is the name given to general purpose revenue stamps in India.
Note 5. A stamp similar in type to Nos. 68-75 but with 'WIRELESS' substituted for 'TELEGRAPH' is referred to in
                the introduction to this section.

The reference of Note. 5 says simply "It is not known whether this is a telegraph stamp or some sort of revenue stamp
— perhaps for the payment of a radio license."



1950s or 60s(?) John Barefoot lists a new design similar to last but with a different center.
Typographed on white wove paper. No watermark. Perf. 14.


This is a mockup of what I will call Type 20 based on the description.
I will replace it as soon as I have a proper image.
Some of these were overprinted for use as a Special Adhesives.
Also a similar type was inscribed Special Adhesive at the bottom.

The monarchy was abolished in 1952 and the last ruling Maharaja, Sir Hari Singh died on 26 April 1961.

RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH76 - 20 1R violet 100.00 -



1884(?) As Nos. 1-9 but in black. Handstamped on locally made (white or buff) wove paper, no watermark, imperf.
Taken from page 168 of Hiscocks book.
For the moment I am having to take this from page 168 of Hiscocks book. The denominations are given in Persian.

H? H77 H78
1 Anna.   H76 2 Annas   H77 4 Annas   H78
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.


H5 ? H5 ? H81
1 Rupee   H80 A better-inked example of the 1 Rupee   H80 2 Rupee   H81
Courtesy of Alec (ajj7 on ebay). courtesy: Sarfaraz of traditional-india. Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.


RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH77 H76 1 1A black 18.00 60.00
RH78 H77 1 2A black 18.00 60.00
RH79 H78 1 4A black 18.00 60.00
RH80 H79 1 8A black 30.00 72.00
RH81 H80 1 1R black 48.00 90.00
RH82 H81 1 2R black 60.00 120.00
RH83 H82 1 5R black 120.00 180.00
RH84 H83 1 10R black   - -
RH85 H84 1 25R black - -

Hiscocks added the following note:

Note. See Notes 1 and 2 below No. 9 above.  



1887(?) As above but on laid paper.

RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH86 H85 1 1A black 30.00 90.00
RH87 H86 1 2A black 30.00 90.00
RH88 H87 1 4A black 48.00 120.00
RH89 H88 1 1R black 180.00 300.00
RH90 H89 1 5R black 270.00 450.00



Steve Hiscocks wrote:

The Patiala State Telephone Service apparently operated from the late 1920s until at least the early 1950s. Originally confined to Patiala State, the service was extended after independence to neighbouring areas as new political groupings of states came about.
The telephone service operated in very much the same way as a telegraph service except that messages were relayed by spoken word over the telephone system and indeed the whole system appears to have been introduced in this way because the Government of India would not permit the establishment of a Patiala State Telegraph Service like that in Kashmir.
Stamps were used on forms similar to telegraph forms as evidence of payment and also, for accounting purposes, on telephone bill receipts. When cancelled at all it is often with a blue pencil line but cds cancellations are also common.
The rate was apparently ½A per word with double for express and with a 'reply paid' option. The service was thus cheaper than an ordinary trunk call (minimum 3 minutes) for short messages and furthermore gave a written record. All used stamps are thought to have remained in the hands of the public.
Dates of issue are unknown but evidently not related to those of the basic stamps. Overprinting was carried out locally as required using whatever stamps happened to be in stock. Victorian stamps were thus overprinted and used 30-40 years after they were originally issued for postal purposes.
In view of the above, no attempt has been made to suggest dates of issue and stamps have simply been listed in order of their SG numbers for each type of overprint.
It is probable that a number remain unknown to me and that the list will be extended in future editions.
Please note that the SG numbers quoted below refer to the Patiala section and not the general India section of Stanley Gibbons catalogue.

Note. Since these stamps were often not cancelled in use no separate prices
                are quoted for 'unused'. Prices are somewhate arbitrary for lack of  
                comparative data.

My notes:
A few have had to be added, I have marked them with a red asterisk (*). I have had to re-number because of that.
I have added 'RH' numbers ('Revised Hiscocks') to accommodate new entries. I may still need to add others.

I. Stamps for public use.

Overprinted 'Telephone' of type 1 on Queen Victoria postage stamps of 1891-96. White wove paper except where indicated. Watermark W1. Perf. 14.

Watermark W1


H1 H2 H3 H4 H4A
RH1 RH2 RH3 from Wiki Commons. RH4 RH5

* I added RH5 due to the example shown.


RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH1 H1 1 4A olive green (SG21) - 7.50
RH1a H1a 1         slate green (SG 22) - 5.00
RH2 H2 1 6A bistre (SG23/24) - 10.00
RH3 H3 1 8A dull mauve (SG25) - 10.00
RH3a H3a 1         magenta (SG 26) - 10.00
RH4 H4 1 12A purple/red (SG27) - 20.00
*RH5 - 1 1R green and carmine (SG28 ?)   - 25.00


On King Edward VII postage stamps of 1903-06. Other details as above.

H5 H6 H6A H7
RH6 RH7 *RH8 RH9 courtesy Sanjay of world_phil.

* I added RH8 due to the example shown.


RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH6 H5 2 2A pale violet (SG39) - 7.50
RH7 H6 2 3A orange-brown (SG40) - 5.00
RH7 H6a 2         light brown - 5.00
*RH8 - 2 12A purple/red (SG44) - 20.00
RH9 H7 2 1R green and carmine (SG45)   - 25.00


On King George V postage stamps of 1912-26. Other details as above.

RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH10 H8 1 ½A green (SG49) - 5.00
RH11 H9 1 1½A reddish brown (SG51)   - 10.00

John Barefoot also lists a 6As in this series. This is listed by Hiscocks as H27.



On King George V postage stamps of 1928-34. Watermark W2.

H10 H11 Watermark 2
RH12 RH13 W2


RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH12 H10 3 ½A green (SG64)('Postage & Revenue') - 3.75
RH13 H11 3 2A purple (SG68) - 5.00
RH14 H12 3 2A 6P orange (SG69) - 10.00
RH15 H13 3 4A sage green (SG71)('Postage & Revenue')   - 7.50



On King George V postage stamps of 1935-37. Other details as above.

H14 H16
RH16 RH18


RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH16 H14 4 ½A bluish green (SG75)('Postage')   - 3.75
RH17 H15 4 2A vermilion (SG77) - 5.00
RH18 H16 5 4A sage green (SG79)('Postage') - 5.00



On King George VI postage stamps of 1937-38. Other details as above.
Taken from page 175 of Hiscocks book.
Type 6 is overprinted 'PATIALA STATE'.
Type 7 is overprinted 'PATIALA'.

RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH19 H17 6 ½A red-brown (SG81)   - 10.00
RH20 H18 6 1A carmine (SG83) - 10.00


On King George VI postage stamps of 1943-47.
Type 7 is overprinted simply 'PATIALA'.

RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH21 H19 7 ½A red-brown (SG99)   - 10.00
RH22 H20 7 1A carmine (SG101) - 10.00



On King George VI postage stamps of 1943-47. Other details as above.

H21 H22 H23
RH23 RH24 RH25


H24 H25 H26
RH26 RH27 RH28


RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH23 H21 8 ½A purple (SG104) - 7.50
RH24 H22 8 1A carmine (SG106) - 7.50
RH25 H23 8 2A vermilion (SG109)   - 7.50
RH26 H24 8 3A violet (SG110) - 10.00
RH27 H25 8 4A brown (SG112) - 10.00
RH28 H26 8 6A turquoise (SG113)   - 10.00


Overprinted 'Telephone' as in type 16. On King George V postage stamp of 1912-26. As for Nos. 5-9.
India Telephone H27.
Image courtesy of Leo (Leorevenue on ebay).

RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH29 H27 (16) 6A yellow-brown (SG55)   - 15.00



II. Stamps for Official Use.

Overprinted 'Telephone/Service' of type 9, etc.

On Queen Victoria postage stamps of 1891-96. As for Nos. 1-4.

Patiala-H28 Patiala-H29
RH30 RH31


RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH30 H28 9 4A olive green (SG21) - 5.00
RH30a H28a 9         slate green (SG 22)   - 5.00
RH31 H29 9 6A bistre (SG23) - 10.00


On King Edward VII postage stamps of 1903-06. As for Nos. 5-7.

Patiala-H30 Patiala-H31 Patiala-H32
#10, RH32 #10, RH33 #10, RH34


RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH32 H30 10 2A pale violet (SG39) - 3.75
RH33 H31 10 3A orange-brown (SG40)   - 5.00
RH34 H32 10 6A bistre (SG42) - 10.00
RH35 H33 10 8A mauve (SG43) - 15.00
RH36 H34 10 12A purple/red (SG44) - 20.00
RH37 - 10 1R green & carmine (SG45) - 25.00


On King George V postage stamps of 1912-26. As for Nos. 8 and 9.

#11, RH38

Someone has clearly tried to erase 'Telephone'.
It doesn't work.

RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH38 H35 11 1½A reddish brown (SG51)   - 7.50
RH39 H36 11 6A yellow-brown (SG55) - 15.00


On King George V postage stamps of 1928-34. As for Nos. 10-13.

Patiala-H37 Patiala-H38 Patiala-H39
#12, RH40 #12, RH41 #12, RH42


RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH40 H37 12 ½A green (SG64) - 5.00
RH41 H38 12 2A purple (SG68) - 5.00
RH42 H39 12 4A sage green (SG71)   - 5.00


On King George V postage stamps of 1935-37. As for Nos. 14-16.

Patiala-H40 Patiala-H41 Patiala-H41A Patiala-H42
#13, RH43 #13, RH44 #13, *RH45 #13, RH46

* I added RH45 due to the example shown.


RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH43 H40 13 ½A blue-green (SG75)   - 5.00
RH44 H41 13 2A vermilion (SG77) - 7.50
*RH45 - 13 2A 6P orange - 12.00
RH46 H42 13 4A sage green (SG79) - 5.00


On King George VI postage stamps of 1937-38. As for Nos. 17 and 18.

#12, RH48
from Wiki Commons


RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH47 H43 14 ½A red-brown (SG81)   - 10.00
RH48 H44 14 1A carmine (SG83) - 10.00


On King George VI postage stamps of 1943-47. As for Nos. 21-26.

RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH49 H45 (8) ½A purple (SG104) - 10.00
RH50 H46 (8) 2A vermilion (SG109)   - 10.00
RH51 H47 (8) 6A turquoise (SG113)   - 10.00


Overprinted 'Service/Telephone' of type 15 (small type).

On King George V postage stamp of 1912-26. As for Nos. 8 and 9.
Taken from page 176 of Hiscocks book.
RH53 taken from Wiki Commons.

RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH52 H48 15 2A mauve (SG52)   - 7.50


On King George V postage stamps of 1928-34. As for Nos. 10-13.

RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH53 H49 15 ½A green (SG64) - 5.00
RH54 H50 15 2A purple (SG68) - 5.00
RH55 H51 15 4A sage green (SG71)   - 5.00


Overprinted 'Service/Telephone' of type 16 (Larger).

On King George V postage stamp of 1912-26. As for Nos. 8 and 9.

Patiala-H52 forgery Patiala-H52 Patiala-H53
Type 16, RH56 - The stamp on the right I think is genuine.
The stamp on the left, has full yellowed gum, changing the apparent colour.
I think the overprint is forged. The 'T' in 'TELEPHONE' slopes down on the left
instead of the right and the serifs on the 'l' are more pronounced.
Type 16, RH57

These stamps should not be available mint, though they may have been used without cancelling.

RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH56 H52 16 2A mauve (SG52) - 10.00
RH57 H53 16 6A yellow-brown (SG55)   - 10.00


On King George V postage stamps of 1928-34. As for Nos. 10-13.

RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH58 H54 16 2A purple (SG68)   - 5.00


Overprinted 'Telephone' of type 1 on official postage stamps.

On King Edward VII official postage stamp of 1903-10. As for Nos. 5-7.
Taken from page 177 of Hiscocks book.
For the moment I am having to take most of this from page 177 of Hiscocks book.
Type 18 is from Wiki Commons.

RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH59 H55 (17) 1R green and carmine (SGO32)   - 25.00


On King George V postage stamps of 1928-34. As for Nos. 10-13.

RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH60 H56 18 2A vermilion (SGO61)   - 20.00


On King George VI official postage stamps of 1940-45. W2. Perf. 14.

RH # Hisc. Type Description Mint Used
RH61 H57 (19) ½A red-brown (SGO72)   - 15.00
RH62 H58 (19) 1A carmine (SGO75) - 15.00
RH63 H59 (19) 2A vermilion (SGO78) - 15.00

Hiscocks added the following note and illustration:

Note. From the examination of those copies as have come my way it would
                seem that about 20% were not cancelled in any way in use,
                about 40% were cancelled by crayon — usually blue — and about
                40% were cancelled with hand-stamps of various types.
                Specifically 'TELEPHONE' cancellations are found for several towns  
                including Patiala and Bhatinda.
                That shown has no date, as is quite common, but even where the
                date tablet is filled in the date is often meaningless.


Taken from page 177 of Hiscocks book.


Example on piece

An example with a pair of H24 stamps.



Comments, criticisms, information or suggestions are always welcome.

Contact:     Emale

Please include the word 'Telegraphs' in the subject.


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Last updated 25th. Nov. 2018

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